Moving from Mint 13 to Mint 17

Recent updates to Linux Mint 13 (Maya) broke the custom application launchers to shutdown and restart my system at one click of the mouse. It wasn’t immediately obvious which of several updates was the culprit and, rather than put in time searching for the problem, I looked for an alternative solution. In particular, I have been wondering about when I should transition from the Mint 13 long-term support (LTS) version to Mint 17 LTS. I decided that I should upgrade the entire system and, hopefully, fix my launcher problem at the same time.

When making such a major change, I usually just do a complete reinstall of the operating system; however, this means that I also need to tweak a number of items that have been implemented over time in the earlier version of the OS. For what it’s worth, here is my to-do list for making the switch.

The first task, in order to make this process go more smoothly, is to save a number of items to a temporary current_linux folder on my data drive (not the current operating system drive since this will be over-written by the new installation!)

(1) Firefox – backup the bookmarks (Bookmarks – Show All Bookmarks – Import and Backup – Backup), selecting a json file and a destination folder.

(2) Thunderbird – backup the address book (Address Book – Tools – Export), selecting an LDIF file and a destination folder.

(3) Save a copy of the /etc/fstab (File System Table) file since this has the custom entries to mount my data and backup drives.

(4) Save copies of the custom bash script files located in the home folder (e.g. findfile.sh – used to find any given file on my data drive)

(5) Save the custom icons folder located in the home folder that contains icons at various resolutions for Firefox and Thunderbird)

(6) Save the configuration file for Dosbox (e.g. dosbox-0.74.conf) from the hidden folder .dosbox in the home folder. This file contains custom entries for things like window size and initial disk mount commands.

(7) Locate the image used for the desktop background (e.g. DataDisk/original/ubuntu/Ecuador_2010_239.jpg) since this will be added to the new system

Now, it’s time to install the new version of Linux Mint and run the update process to bring the new system up to date. With this task completed, various tweaks can be made to re-establish the custom features used on my specific system:

(8) Restore the desktop background (Right-click on the desktop – Change desktop background – Background – Add – Ecuador_2010_239.jpg)

(9) Firefox – Install the New Tab Homepage 0.4.3 and Downloads Window 0.5.3.1-signed add-ons; restore the bookmarks from the stored json file

(10) Thunderbird – Restore the address book from the stored LDIF file

(11) Restore the application launchers for Firefox and Thunderbird on the panel (right-click on the panel – Custom Application Launcher – Add; include name, command, and comment; change the icon to the appropriate image in the stored icons folder)

(12) Restore the application launchers for Shutdown (shutdown -P now) and Restart (shutdown -r now) to the panel; change the icons to the appropriate images in the stored icons folder)

(13) Add the custom mount commands for the data (DataDisk) and backup (Barracuda_01) drives to /etc/fstab as follows:
/dev/sda3 /media/DataDisk/ ntfs-3g defaults,user,locale=en_US.utf8 0 0
/dev/sdb1 /media/Barracuda_01/ ntfs-3g defaults,user,locale=en_US.utf8 0 0

(14) Restore the custom bash script files from the temporary storage folder to the home folder. Change the permissions for all the script files (Right-click – Properties – Permissions) to “Allow executing file as program”.

(15) Change Caja file manager (Edit – Preferences – Behaviour – Executable Test Files) to “Ask each time” (e.g. before displaying/executing a bash script file)

(16) In Software Manager, install mate-themes; use Control Centre – Change Theme – Traditional Green (in order to provide scroll arrows in LibreOffice)

(17) In Synaptic Package Manager, install libreoffice-style-tango (icon set) and ttf-mscorefonts-installer (Microsoft fonts)

(18) Change screensaver setting (Control Centre – Screensaver) to “Regard the computer as idle after 30 minutes”

(19) In Software Manager, install gedit (remove pluma), KAlarm, KeePassX, and BackInTime

(20) Set BackInTime to run once-daily using Anacron and to save backups daily, weekly, monthly, and annually

(21) Install FreeFileSync using:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:freefilesync/ffs
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install freefilesync

(22) In Software Manager, install Dosbox; extract the custom commands from the original configuration file (dosbox-0.74.conf) and insert these into the new configuration file:
windowresolution=1024×768
output=opengl
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.
# Mount TrueCrypt disk
mount x /media/truecrypt1
# Transfer control to Truecrypt disk
x:

(23) Install Truecrypt from truecrypt-7.1a-linux-x64.tar.gz (still available from Dan Gibson’s Final Release Repository

And, with that set of tasks completed, everything works as previously – except for a couple of things – but therein lies another story!

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